Get rid of mosquitoes with this DIY mosquito repellent recipe.
Spring is finally here and unfortunately, the mosquitoes have arrived with it! In addition to the painful, itchy welts these obnoxious little pests leave behind, they can also spread a host of maladies that can last for months, if not years.
Here are a few of the diseases these vile pests spread.
Diseases Mosquitoes Spread
- West Nile Virus- A virus that causes encephalitis, meningitis and severe flu-like symptoms that last for weeks.
- Malaria- Symptoms of this disease can vary but include fever, body aches, coma and even death. Luckily, Malaria isn't common in the U.S., but be aware if you're traveling overseas, particularly to central America or other tropical areas, that this is a very real danger.
- California Encephalatides- The most well-known encephalitis virus caused by mosquitos is the LaCrosse, often found throughout the midwest. While death is rare, more commonly the LaCrosse virus affects children, causing seizures and nervous system complications that persist for YEARS. This particular virus can pass from an infected female mosquito to her offspring without ever having to feed on an infected host. This virus is most often spread by the Tree hole mosquito, which inhabit heavily-wooded areas.
- Dengue Fever- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 50 million cases of Dengue fever occur each year and the numbers are increasing. If you think this disease only occurs in other countries, be aware that there have been several outbreaks in Southern Texas, Hawaii, and Florida in the past few years. Symptoms include rash, headache, nausea, eye pain, joint pain, muscle aches, fever, hypothermia, severe abdominal pain, lethargy, confusion, and irritability.
- Yellow Fever- This one has not yet reached the United States, but be aware of it when traveling during the spring and summer months with your families. Additional Information can be found here at the Centers for Disease Control.
Danger for Pets
- Heartworm- Just when you thought you only had to worry about your human family, be aware that your pets can suffer this terrible affiliction that is spread by mosquitos. Heartworm is a parasite that affects household pets and can cause a painful death if not prevented.
- Equine Encephalitis- If you have horses you're probably already aware of the various diseases that mosquitoes can spread to them, including several forms of encephalitis.
How To Prevent Mosquito Bites
We've determined that mosquito repellent is absolutely necessary, but what if you're not comfortable spraying chemicals on yourself or your children?
Here are several homemade mosquito repellents that actually work.
Make Your Own Mosquito Repellents
Combine the following ingredients in a spritz bottle:
- 1/4 cup almond oil
- 8 drops cedar essential oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops juniper essential oil
- 1 drop peppermint essential oil
- 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
- 1 drop clove essential oil
Shake well to combine, spritz liberally as needed to repel mosquitoes.
Alternative Mosquito Repellent Recipe
Combine the following in a spritz or spray bottle:
- 2 cups witch hazel
- 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
- 20 drops citronella essential oil
- 20 drops lemongrass essential oil
Shake well to combine and spritz liberally as needed to repel mosquitoes.
If you don't happen to have a large collection of various essential oils, you can also make your own very effective repellent using Catnip. Did you know that Catnip is 10x's more effective than Deet? Check out this study and print out the simple Catnip Mosquito Repellent Recipe.
Other Ways to Reduce Mosquito Populations
You may be wondering what else you can do to reduce the population of mosquitoes around your home.
- Empty standing water. Do not allow water to collect and set for any period of time, be sure to refresh pet waterers daily, empty saucers under potted patio plants and keep birdbaths fresh. Standing water creates a potential breeding area.
- If you have a small pond/water attraction in your yard that is big enough to have fish, consider adding a couple to keep mosquito larvae down to a minimum.
- Repair or replace screens on your home to ensure mosquitoes aren't getting inside.
- Mosquitoes are most active at Dusk and Dawn. Be sure to wear repellent if you're out and about during those times of day.
(C) Melissa 'Liss' Burnell, Budget101.com